Artillery: January 19, 2004

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The U.S. Army is sending 38 Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar (LCMR) systems to Iraq. The LCMR  development began for SOCOM (Special Operations Command) back in 1999. In the last year, the system has been ready for combat use. The system weighs 120 pounds and is carried in two sixty pound packs. Costing about $650,000 each, it is meant to be set up on a roof top or other high ground. LCMR can detect the firing location of mortars up to seven kilometers away. Tests showed that most of the time LCMR reported the location of the mortar to within a hundred meters of its actual location. LCMR provides all round (360 degree) coverage and generates one false alarm (a common problem with these systems) for every 5-6 hours of operation. SOCOM originally developed LCMR so that rangers or Special Forces could parachute the system into a hot situation and then use airpower or distant artillery to take out enemy mortars that were firing at them. Some of the LCMR will go to Afghanistan as well. The first systems will arrive in Iraq in March, and five or so a month will be delivered after that. 

 


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